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Detained youth activist seeks to quash charges

By Paolo Gabriel D. Jamer

Detained Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT) Bicol spokesperson Justine Mesias filed a joint omnibus motion to quash search warrants, to suppress evidence, to declare inadmissible illegally seized items, and to quash the information with a prayer to dismiss the cases due to the trump up charges filed against him such as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and illegal possession of explosives.

Mesias filed the omnibus motion on Jan. 6 at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 7 in Legazpi City.

A student activist studying at Bicol University and a relief worker, Mesias said that “ the trumped-up charges filed against me were the result of the baseless raid last May 2, 2021, at my former residence.”

He said that similar charges were filed against Sasah Sta Rosa, then Jovenes Anakbayan spokesperson and now the youth convenor of Defend Bicol: Stop the Attacks Network, and the secretary-general of Jovenes Anakbayan; and Pastor Dan Balucio, secretary-general of BAYAN-Bicol and a pastor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP).

The charges against Sta Rosa and Balucio were already junked by courts in Naga City and Legazpi City respectively, a strong and clear proof that these allegations against me are baseless and are downright made-up in a desperate attempt to vilify not only myself but activists in general, Mesias added.

Lawyer Mae Diane Azores, the 2019 Bar topnotcher, and lawyer Bart Rayco of National Union People's Lawyers (NUPL) Bicol represented Mesias in filing the omnibus motion.

Mesias also warned the public to continue to be vigilant and critical of the current administration especially now that the 2022 elections is nearing. He urged Filipinos to continue to fight for their political and economic rights and seek a grass-root and science-based approach to the pandemic. His message to the Filipino youth is to be organized then utilize their energy and knowledge to further push the people’s agenda.


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